Migration and travel have fundamentally shaped human history from its very beginnings. Whether forced or voluntary, human mobility across the globe has led to some definitive, transformative ruptures in history, from the Indo-Aryan migration from the Indus Valley, the expansion of the Mongols, invasions of the Roman Empire, the displacement of Africans in the Atlantic slave trade, and the recent forced relocation of thousands of Syrian refugees. The age of the Vikings, perhaps the most popularized moment of migration from Scandinavia, shares this long history of human mobility and cross-cultural exchanges.
This course will introduce students to the ways in which scholars ask questions, read and evaluate sources, and construct arguments. Acquiring training in textual analysis and argumentative writing, students will study the movement of people during the Viking Age, from trading and pilgrimage, to raiding and settlement. The course will explore a range of interdisciplinary approaches to history, including historical and literary sources, archaeological evidence, and scientific techniques, and will demonstrate how such evidence can be applied in academic papers. Through discussion of the motivations for travel and migration, our aim is to develop persuasive writing and to think critically about historical studies and their practical applications in our world today.
Somerville, A. and R.A. McDonald (eds.) The Viking Age: A Reader, 2nd Ed, Toronto: University of Toronto, 2010. ISBN: 1442608676 (paperback, if available)
All Reading and Composition courses must be taken for a letter grade in order to fulfill this requirement for the Bachelor’s Degree. This course satisfies the second half or the “B” portion of the Reading and Composition requirement.
Prerequisites: Successful completion of the “A” portion of the Reading & Composition requirement or its equivalent. Students may not enroll in nor attend R1B/R5B courses without completing this prerequisite.
Instructor pending appointment.